How to Dress for Date Night

Every twosome has its more fashionable half.

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Designer Rebecca Taylor has six words of (laughing) advice for the world’s women: "Get out of the jeans rut!" A longtime date-clothes auteur (think playful prints, chic knits and rich embellishment), Taylor likes "fun and flirty." Translation: Any sweater set or jacket that could be considered remotely office appropriate should be off-limits. What to try? Bright colors ("They’re mood boosters"), baggy pants with heels, skinny pants with big sweaters, and lots of dresses, which Taylor likes to use as layering pieces. "Your look should have a bit of whimsy," she says. "Dates are about having fun, breaking free and being sexy." A frock that rocks This dress defines dateworthy: The color pops, the one-shoulder neckline is eye catching and modern, and the slightly shorter hemline amps up the sex appeal. Rebecca Taylor silk tie-dye dress, $350; neiman?marcus?.com. Wolford nylon blend tights, $42; Roni Blanshay for Jennifer Miller crystal oxidized earrings, $550; 212-734-8199. KJL for Jennifer Miller oxidized faux stone ring, $195; 212-734-8199. Badgley Mischka embroidered and beaded mesh heels, $200; On Rebecca: Rebecca Taylor stretch wool sailor pants, $295, and cotton and linen blouse, $245; Neiman Marcus, 888-888-4757.
Photo: Chris Fanning

Dinner and a Movie

Instead of jeans and a long cardigan Try a motorcycle jacket over a casual dress
Photo: Chris Fanning

Cropped Leather Jacket

The zippers are edgy and modern; the fitted, cropped silhouette lets underlayers peek out. "This look takes something sweet and vamps it up," says Taylor. Go for a jacket that’s light, with no lining (less bulk that way), and wear it year-round. Diane von Furstenberg leather jacket, $845; Saks Fifth Avenue, 212-753-4000. Pandora 18k gold and diamond earrings, $400; for stores. Anya Hindmarch leather bag, $995; 212-343-8147.
Photo: Chris Fanning

Casual Dress

We’re not talking sheath (too serious); pull out something soft and feminine. Taylor says she loves this neutral color palette because "it’s much softer on the skin than black." Galliano viscose dress, $545; New York Look, 212-362-8650.
Photo: Chris Fanning

Over-the-Knee Boots

They’re undeniably bold and sexy, but Taylor says the charcoal-gray hue keeps them from looking too tough. Not for you? Try suede boots to the knee and wear with same-color tights. Rebecca Taylor suede boots, $795;
Photo: Chris Fanning

Gallery Hopping

Instead of a ho-hum skirt and boots Try shorts and stripes
Photo: Chris Fanning

Textural Scarf

This splurge is worth it, because it’s luxe (without breaking the bank) and alsoadds a shot of color. "The knit softens the entire look," says Taylor. "It’s something you can add to any outfit." Diane von Furstenberg wool blend scarf, $185; Jennifer Miller oxidized faux diamond pavé hoops, $150; 212-734-8199.
Photo: Chris Fanning

Casual Tee

"Stripes are classic," says Taylor. The traditional T-shirt balances the trendier shorts and keeps the look from seeming fashiony. Avoid a too-boxy shape and wide stripes (both unflattering). Rebecca Taylor cotton jersey tee, $145; Neiman Marcus, 888-888-4757. Janis by Janis Savitt silver- and 18k-gold-plated brass bracelet, $750; Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300.
Photo: Chris Fanning

Winter Shorts over Tights

This fun alternative to a skirt "gives off a much younger, hipper vibe," says Taylor. Keep the tights opaque (for ample coverage) and pair with flats, booties or tall boots. Rebecca Taylor stretch wool twill shorts, $225; Saks Fifth Avenue, 212-753-4000. DKNY nylon blend tights, $15;
Photo: Chris Fanning

Weekend Brunch

Instead of pants and loafers Try a luscious knit and statement shoes
Photo: Chris Fanning

Chunky Cardigan

It’s knit season, and this style is especially flattering: The open neckline allows a colorful underlayer to frame the face, and the waist tie controls volume. Banana Republic wool blend cardigan, $130; 888-277-8953. Janis by Janis Savitt 18k-gold-plated brass necklace, $650; Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300.
Photo: Chris Fanning


Taylor likes how "the pop of purple perfectly complements the khaki." Plus, she says, the feminine blouse balances the sleekness of the pants and the bulk of the sweater in a way that "softens the look." Rebecca Taylor silk tank, $245; Neiman Marcus, 888-888-4757.
Photo: Chris Fanning

Daytime Tuxedo Pants

The grosgrain side stripe makes these khakis "polished casual," says Taylor. "I love this slim shape. It’s chic with a heel but equally stylish with a sparkly ballet flat." Rebecca Taylor silk cotton twill pants, $275; 212-966-0406. Ports 1961 suede and hardwood heels, $750; *For denim devotees who won’t give up jeans when they go out to dinner and a movie, CHECK OUT MORE’S TOP STYLES.*
Photo: Chris Fanning

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